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Guidelines for Creating Accessible Digital Media Published by WGBH

From: geoff freed <geoff_freed@wgbh.org>
Date: Mon, 10 Jul 2006 15:23:47 -0400
Message-Id: <69943B56-F990-4CE3-AD91-05C52E272D99@wgbh.org>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org


Guidelines for Creating Accessible Digital Media Published by WGBH


Boston, MA (July 2006)  The WGBH National Center for Accessible Media  
(NCAM), a division of public broadcaster and access technology  
pioneer WGBH Boston, announces publication of "Accessible Digital  
Media: Design Guidelines for Electronic Publications, Multimedia and  
the Web."

These guidelines, providing step-by-step solutions for making a  
variety of electronic media accessible to users with sensory  
disabilities, are now available free of charge at http:// 
ncam.wgbh.org/publications/adm/ .  A free CD containing the  
guidelines is also available; e-mail access@wgbh.org to order single  
or multiple copies.

These guidelines are the culmination of the "Beyond the Text" project  
(http://ncam.wgbh.org/ebooks), conducted by NCAM and funded by the  
National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR)  
of the U.S. Department of Education (2003-2006; award #H133G020091).  
Project staff studied methods for integrating accessible multimedia  
into e-books and digital talking books (DTBs), and the results of  
this research have been incorporated into the guidelines. The  
document is a greatly expanded version of recommendations first  
published in 2000 and revised in 2003, under projects funded by the  
National Science Foundation (awards #HRD-PPD-9906159 and #HRD- 
PPD-9623958, respectively).

"Accessible Digital Media: Design Guidelines for Electronic  
Publications, Multimedia and the Web" presents solutions to  
accessibility obstacles in a format designed to educate and assist  
digital publishers as well as Web and content developers. As with  
tools previously created by NCAM, including MAGpie (free, do-it- 
yourself captioning and audio description software) and CaptionKeeper  
(a tool for migrating captions created for analog video to digital  
formats), NCAM anticipates that the ready availability of these  
guidelines will help accelerate the creation of e-books, DTBs,  
software and Web sites with accessible images, multimedia,  
interactivity, data tables, graphs, and mathematical and scientific  
expressions.

Geoff Freed, project manager for "Beyond the Text," comments, "While  
the guidelines focus largely on content creation for educational  
materials, the solutions and recommendations are not restricted to  
academic settings. Lifelong learning is expected of every individual  
in the 21st century and advancement in the workplace is often tied to  
learning new skills and concepts. Corporate trainers and knowledge- 
management experts in all fields utilize interactive and Web-based  
content for professional development, and learning materials of all  
types now include multimedia- movies and audio clips and a variety of  
interactive elements."

Those interested in building accessibility into digital materials may  
also want to review the results of another NCAM initiative which  
promotes the design of accessible learning management systems, used  
by many schools, universities and workplaces. NCAM's Specifications  
for Accessible Learning Technologies (SALT) Partnership established  
an accessibility working group within the IMS Global Learning  
Consortium (IMS). This work, producing specifications for a  
universally designed infrastructure for adaptable learning systems,  
will result in an international standard from the International  
Organization on Standardization (ISO).

Please contact NCAM if you have comments about these guidelines or  
suggestions for future revisions. We also encourage you to visit  
NCAM's Web site (http://ncam.wgbh.org) to explore other ongoing  
access initiatives.

About NCAM
NCAM is part of the Media Access Group at WGBH, which also includes:
-- The Caption Center, which first developed captioning for TV in the  
early '70s and,
-- Descriptive Video Service(r), a TV access service launched in 1990  
to offer description of on-screen action, settings, costumes and  
character expressions to people who are blind and visually impaired.

Since its founding in 1993, the National Center for Accessible Media  
has been the R&D pioneer in the field of media access, advancing the  
accessibility of all forms of media in a wide range of venues,  
including movie theaters, the Internet, digital television and mobile  
media in the home, classroom, workplace and community.

For additional information about all of NCAM's activities and the  
projects, please visit http://ncam.wgbh.org.

CONTACT:
Mary Watkins
National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM)
mary_watkins@wgbh.org
phone: 617 300-3700 voice
617 300-2489 TTY
Received on Monday, 10 July 2006 19:23:54 GMT

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